SoftBank, Honda to Use 5G SA, C-V2X to Reduce Car Collisions with Pedestrians

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SoftBank Corp. and Honda R&D Co., Ltd. announced yesterday they are beginning use case-based verification of technologies to reduce collisions between pedestrians and vehicles using a 5G standalone network (SA) and cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communications technology. Three use cases will be explored employing SoftBank’s 5G SA experimental base station installed at Honda’s Takasu Proving Ground in Japan and Honda’s recognition technology.

“SoftBank and Honda are working together conducting technology verification for 5G-based connected vehicles,” Softbank said. “Through this new initiative, Softbank and Honda aim to realize a cooperative society where pedestrians and drivers can enjoy mobility safely and with total peace of mind by utilizing network technology that will be created by connecting pedestrians and vehicles.” Softbank and Honda plan to complete the technological verification of linking 5G SA with cellular V2X by March 31, 2022. 

In one use case, the technology will attempt to reduce collisions involving pedestrians who are visible to vehicles. In other words, the vehicle’s on-board camera recognizes the risk of a collision such as the pedestrian entering the roadway, and the vehicle sends an alert to the pedestrian’s mobile device directly or via a multi-access edge computer (MEC) server. “This will enable the pedestrian to take evasive action to prevent a possible collision with the vehicle,” Softbank said. 

In order to reduce collisions with pedestrians who are not visible to vehicles, the vehicle queries mobile devices and other vehicles nearby about the presence or absence of a pedestrian. If there is a pedestrian present, the system notifies both the pedestrian and the approaching vehicle of the danger.

 “These high-speed data communications between the moving vehicle, pedestrians, and other vehicles will help prevent collisions,” Softbank said. 

The third case study looks to reduce collisions involving pedestrians by sharing information to multiple vehicles about poor visibility areas. Each moving vehicle sends information about the poor visibility area to the MEC server, which organizes the information and notifies all the vehicles driving in the vicinity of the presence of pedestrians. 

By J. Sharpe Smith Inside Towers Technology Editor 

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